Movies and entertainment outlets speak volumes about the current state of a nation’s culture. Cinematic creations in the United States allow small voices to be heard and controversial issues to be addressed. However, a repetitive and monumental issue continues to be addressed, yet continues to persist in our 21st century culture, racial inequalities. Since the inception of the United States, black men and women alike have been disenfranchised at the hands of the “white man” in America. Instead of continuing the conversation today, the issue is continually silenced referencing the successes and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement in the 20th century. Nonetheless, an unfortunate reality looms upon this great land; racially based systems and structures continue to exist in 2015 the in United States. This paper synthesizes three films focused on racial inequalities in different time periods. Separate but Equal (1991), Selma (2015), and Crash (2005) illustrate how influential the Civil War amendments are, while serving as an uncanny reminder of how the racial prejudices during the 20th century continue to exist in our great nation today. Needless to say our nation has made great strides, but still has a long way to go.
News media and Hollywood are the main two vehicles of identity theft among African people. In Hollywood, blacks are always shown in a position of reluctant assistance or sub servant i.e. Butler, Helper and or slave. Equally, News Media almost always show us as animals and criminals of the lowest morals. Consequently, through the system of programming, constant repetitions of demoralizing images are perpetuated, and with no other source of reference to rely upon blacks often consciously and subconsciously accept those images. Moreover some people, rather most become not only to accept those images, a lot of Black disassociate themselves with their race, because who wants to be from a race of ”nobodies” and by default has to capture the identity of the European race. One must keep in mind that racism is a system of power that is employed by White people, thus one must ponder, who owns and operates Hollywood and new media.” I agree with Trevor Musa black often see them self as invisible because of media which is a cause racial prejudice.
Racism is an issue that blacks face, and have faced throughout history directly and indirectly. Ralph Ellison has done a great job in demonstrating the effects of racism on individual identity through a black narrator. Throughout the story, Ellison provides several examples of what the narrator faced in trying to make his-self visible and acceptable in the white culture. Ellison engages the reader so deeply in the occurrences through the narrator’s agony, confusion, and ambiguity. In order to understand the narrators plight, and to see things through his eyes, it is important to understand that main characters of the story which contributes to his plight as well as the era in which the story takes place.
The film reminds us that “slavery and its aftermath involved the emasculation-physical as well as psychological - of black men, the drive for black power was usually taken to mean a call for black male power, despite the needs of (and often with the complicity of) black women. That continues to result in the devaluing of black female contributions to the liberation struggle and in the subordination of black women in general.”4
Wilson stated that ''The truth is that often where there are esthetic criteria of excellence, there are also sociological criteria that have traditionally excluded blacks.'' He then continued on to say ''... raise the standards and remove the sociological consideration of race as privilege, and we will meet you at the crossroads, in equal numbers, prepared to do the work of extending and developing the common ground of the American theater.'' Through these powerful words Wilson is saying that in order to reflect American culture in the theater, the history of African American’s must be reflected. There have always been systems in place that have excluded African Americans and white Americans will never understand the way that sense of oppression felt. White Americans will never understand how it feels to be enslaved, be powerless in protecting your family, and being sold off as property, as Eliza Harris from Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and millions of other slaves felt. Photographing the “American Negro” by Shawn Michelle Smith presented the idea that white Americans have tried to take away the histories of other races in America. People have always turned against embracing the histories of the African Americans because they were seen as alien to their owners. Their different skin tone separated them from the white Americans who thought of them as uncivilized before they were brought to work for them. Ultimately Wilson calls for Black Theaters to prevent the culture of the
In its broadest dimensions Afrofuturism is an extension of the historical recovery projects that black Atlantic intellectuals have engaged in for well over two hundred years (sdonline). Black authors such as Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Charles Saunders, and Jewelle Gomez of the past fifty or so years have collaborated with the sci-fi world “because it so effectively captures the experience of living in a high-tech world (Yaszek 2002: 97)” which is our world today. Coupling that with a political mission, creates the activist genre of Afrofuturism. In Eshuns Further Considerations on Afrofuturism he talks about how everything we do and have is built upon the slaves and their oppressed history. Every school, bank and restaurant we have were all possible by the capital gain from the slavery era. Afrofuturism writers and works make these truths know and force readers to look into the future to see what could become. The way these works incorporate the truths of the past and possible realities for the future, categorizes it as more than just science
In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B DuBois pioneers two concepts that describe the Black experience in America— the notions of “the veil” and “double-consciousness.” The meaning and implication of these words not only describe the plight of being Black and American then, it also refers to what it means to still be Black and American today – the remnants of the past live on. DuBois explains the veil concept in reference to three things: the literal darker skin of Blacks, which is the physical demarcation of the difference from whiteness, white people’s lack of clarity in order to see Blacks as “true” Americans, and lastly Blacks’ lack of clarity to see themselves outside of what white America prescribes for them. The idea of double consciousness refers to the two-ness, caused by our nations flawed and polarized system, felt by many Blacks. I argue that although DuBois was the first to coin these two terms, it is clear through analyzing Uncle Tom’s Cabin and 12 Years a Slave that these two significant concepts gave a name to what African-Americans had been feeling for years but previously could not define.
The life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination… the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land (qtd. in W.T.L. 235).
The oppression of certain groups of people is nothing new. These oppressed groups tend to be looked at as different because of their physical features and/or cultural background. Many efforts to improve the lives of the oppressed have been achieved, but there is still a long way to go. These oppressed groups consist of women and different ethnic groups which have had to deal with being pushed around by the white man throughout history. Frantz Fanon deals with his experience as a black man in the French colony of Martinique. Simone de Beauvoir speaks about her experience as a woman in the French mainland. Both authors assert the idea that the man, in particular the white man, sets himself as the superior being that defines what it is to be human and views women and blacks or minorities as the “Other”.
Black history has taught us that the black community has been seen as “servants” a lower class in communities of white supremacy therefore, genocides against women, children and men have been carried out through history and how “colonization” has played an important role in the white supremacy actions against black. Cesaire cites in “Colonial Discourse” “The colonial encounter in other words requires “reinvention of the Colonized” the deliberate destruction of the cast, in other words what Cesaire calls “Thingfication”, colonialism works to ‘decivilize” the colonizer, torture,
 Before I start this essay, I feel the need to remind the reader that I find slavery in all its forms to be an oppressive and terrible institution, and I firmly believe that for centuries (including this one) bigotry is one of the most terrible stains on our civilization. The views I intend to express in the following essay are in no way meant to condone the practices of slavery or racism; they are meant only to evaluate and interpret the construction of slavery in film.
Through a number of important essays, Marleen Barr’s “Afro-Futurism” opens up a conversation about racial autonomy and collective agency in a literary space that seems to have been reluctant to even whisper about such things: namely, Science Fiction. Maybe that is not all that surprising given the genre’s predominantly white(ned?) literary categorization that, while it has no outright barred people-of-color, has not in turn seemed to make any meaningful space for them, either . Indeed, there is such an implicit racial claim of science fiction by White Culture that when a person-of-color is cast in one of the starring roles of a major Science Fiction production – oh, let’s say “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – that there is a massive outcry and calls for boycott and existential fears of white erasure.
A new recruitment priority stemmed from fractious debates about whether or not white members were equipped to make films about people of color, debates that reflected larger conflicts about class and race. At the time a Newsreel member told Bill Nichols, “the change from middle-class leadership was necessary because few middle-class people grew up in the neighborhoods or near places about which Newsreel film’s are needed (5).” Equating Third World with nonwhite and working class oversimplifies the race and class inequalities at play in the Third World. It ignores the fact that anticolonial does not automatically mean class or race struggle. In the allegory,
In America, racism as well as race relations are generally extremely sensitive subjects that are often brushed underneath the rug. Earlier this year, Jordan Peele’s Get Out graced the big screen, and left audiences with a great deal to digest. Peele’s first cinematic debut touched on the delicate topics of racism and the continuous devaluing of African American culture by “liberal” Caucasians in American suburbs. In this essay, one will explore the ways in which works written by modern political thinkers such as Nietzsche and Marx effortlessly add perspective through various theories on the difficulties brought to light in the motion picture, Get Out.
Franz Fanon is one of the many profound voices of black identity during the 1950s. His work in the field of psychology features an unfathomed approach to critical theory, post-colonial studies and Marxism. In Black Skin White Masks, Fanon dives into the Negro psyche through understanding its origin. In studying this, Fanon comes to the argument that the dehumanizing process of colonization renders both Blacks and Whites crazy. In analyzing Africans, specifically, Fanon determines that the “Negro [is] enslaved by his inferiority [and] the white man enslaved by his superiority” and that is why they are both mentally unbalanced. It is this neurotic orientation through which Fanon discusses the process through which Africans become second-class French people. In discussing the Negro neurosis, Fanon begins with this statement: The Negro “becomes whiter as he renounces his blackness.”